This Autumn, Brent Bookwalter finds himself among their number for the first time in his career. The American spent eleven seasons in the colours of BMC, and while tenured positions don't exist in professional cycling, he was all but a part of the fittings at the American-Swiss squad. A guarantee. One year, he even renewed his contract in February.
Along with Colby, we spoke with Michelton-Scott’s Brent Bookwalter. Brent is an Olympian, a veteran of many grand tours, and the organizer of the popular Bookwalter Binge Gran Fondo. This year it takes place on October 26 in his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.
The inner voice is a battle. At its best that voice is driven, confident, empowered and audacious, it drives me towards my goals and down a committed path. At its worst it causes me to question if I’m good enough, or whether what I’m doing is actually worth it. That voice can go entirely against things that I am absolutely sure I am capable of, and even who I am as an athlete or a person. It asks me why I am doing this. I’ve learned that while things don’t always make sense, I need to remain committed and see it through. Sometimes it means continuing on with blind faith.
This Vuelta is the last Grand Tour in which we will see the distinctive red and black of the BMC Racing Team. Over 11 years the American team, backed by Swiss billionaire Andy Rihs, helped change the sport, paying big salaries, winning the Tour de France with Cadel Evans, and becoming masters of the art of team time trialling. Rihs died this year and BMC will be taken over by CCC — but it will be a very different team.
Brent Bookwalter is best known as a stalwart athlete for the UCI WorldTour team BMC Racing, as he has stayed with BMC since his start in pro cycling in 2008. Few athletes have had the organizational continuity that Bookwalter has enjoyed during his pro career. However, that doesn’t mean that he’s stayed complacent during his time; anything but. His experience in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Tour de France, and a myriad of World Championships prove his mettle as an athlete at the highest level.
It wasn’t until after months of recovery, during his first pro ride in Utah in 2008 and his first year with BMC Racing Team, that Bookwalter felt truly back on track.
“I always enjoy and appreciate when the Tour of Utah has a prologue or a non-uphill time trial,” said American Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing Team, who tallied a stage win in 2017 and a Utah Sports Commission Sprint classification jersey in 2015. “By adding in a prologue, it balances out the race a bit and forces the climbers to be in their best form in the race against the clock.”
He was still in shock from the compound fracture to his left tibia, but Brent Bookwalter can remember the emergency surgery he received in Belgium that day.
Well, he thinks it was Belgium; some aspects of the events remain hazy. Physicians gave him a nerve block for his lower half, allowing him to remain awake for the operation.
Three pro riders with very different experiences of head injury discuss the tricky subject of concussion in the peloton. Sports like NFL and Rugby have clear procedures for dealing with athlete head injuries, but Brent Bookwalter, Matt Brammeier and Tom Skujins think cycling could do better, and their colleagues in the peloton need to be more aware. Rouleur's Desire Editor Stuart Clapp talks up Gore's new Shakedry jacket, and David Millar's long awaited film. Presenter: Ian Parkinson.